All those Father's Day neckties that dad's received over the years have a way of accumulating. If he's got more than he can handle, why not repurpose a few? From a different gift for dad to a fashion statement for mom, or even something to dress up the house, there are plenty of ways to reuse neckties once they've been retired. Let the patterns and colors inspire you to come up with other terrific ways to reuse and recycle neckties; here are eight ideas to get you started:
- If dad's dapper enough, he could get away with a pocket square made from an old, favorite necktie. Cut off six inches or so from the wide end of a necktie, fold the cut end under, and then hem it if you'd like (the hemming isn't necessary, since the cut end will be tucked into the pocket). If it's too wide, you can fold the sides of the tie back, and iron a crease into the sides so that they'll stay neat. This look would work best with light, solid-colored ties.
- Wear one as an accessory — just not around your neck. The right color and pattern can set off a sporty outfit when you use a tie as a casual belt (just thread it through your belt loops and tie to one side) or a headband (use the skinny end of the tie and cut off the excess).
- Avoid scalded hands with a coffee sleeve fashioned from one of dad's cast-offs. To make a necktie coffee sleeve, all you need is a pair of scissors and some self-adhesive Velcro. It's the perfect gift for the eco-conscious (and fashion-conscious) dad: Not only will his cup of joe look good, but he'll avoid wasting the disposable cardboard sleeves handed out at coffee shops.
- Use neckties as home décor. Choose two ties that have similar colors or patterns and use them as tiebacks for curtains — or, sew a bunch of ties together to make a pillowcase. Multiple ties can even be woven together to create the seat of a chair.
- Make a toy snake. Stuff a necktie with cotton batting, sew the openings closed on either end, and make a face on the wide end by adding button eyes and a red felt tongue. The snake can also be used as a draft catcher for doors and windows.
- The silky textures, bright colors, and pretty patterns of neckties make them the ideal scraps for sewing projects big or small. If you're handy with a sewing machine, a single tie can be used to make a case for eyeglasses, an iPod, or a cell phone; multiple neckties can be sewn together to make a handbag, a skirt, or even a quilt.
- Dress up your dog. Make a necktie collar for your pup and he'll be ready for a busy day as man's best friend.
- Several places accept necktie donations. Prairie Moon Quilts, for instance, sews donated neckties into quilts that are then given to charities. Similarly, Ties That Matter recycles neckties into bags and pillows, and even creates jobs for refugees by seeking their help with production.